Thomas Gibson-Carmichael, 1st Baron Carmichael

The Right Honourable
The Lord Carmichael
Governor of Victoria
In office
27 July 1908  19 May 1911
Monarch Edward VII (1908–10)
George V (1910–11)
Governor-General Henry Northcote, 1st Baron Northcote (1908)
William Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley (1908–11)
Premier Sir Thomas Bent (1908–09)
John Murray (1909–11)
Preceded by Sir Reginald Talbot
Succeeded by Sir John Fuller, 1st Baronet
Governor of Madras
In office
3 November 1911  30 March 1912
Governor-General Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst
Preceded by Hon. Sir Arthur Lawley
Succeeded by Sir Murray Hammick (acting)
Governor of Bengal
In office
1 April 1912  26 March 1917
Monarch George V
Governor-General Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst
Frederic Thesiger, 1st Viscount Chelmsford
Preceded by Sir William Duke
Succeeded by The Marquess of Zetland
Personal details
Born (1859-03-18)18 March 1859
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died 16 January 1926(1926-01-16) (aged 66)
13 Portman Street, London, England
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Mary Nugent
Alma mater St John's College, Cambridge

Thomas David Gibson-Carmichael, 1st Baron Carmichael GCSI, GCIE, KCMG, DL, FRSE (18 March 1859 – 16 January 1926), known as Sir Thomas Gibson-Carmichael, Bt, between 1891 and 1912, was a Scottish Liberal politician and colonial administrator.

Background and education

Born near Edinburgh, Scotland, Carmichael was the eldest son of Reverend Sir William Henry Gibson-Carmichael, 10th Baronet, and Eleanora Anne Anderson, daughter of David Anderson.[1]

He was educated at the Rev Cowley Powle's school[2] in Wixenford[3] and St John's College, Cambridge.[1][4] He succeeded his father as 11th Baronet in 1891.

Political career

Carmichael was Private Secretary to George Trevelyan and Lord Dalhousie, when Secretaries for Scotland.[1] He unsuccessfully contested Peebles and Selkirk in 1892 [5] but was successfully returned as Liberal Member of Parliament for Midlothian in 1895,[6] succeeding William Ewart Gladstone. He continued to represent this constituency until the 1900 general election.[7]

Colonial Governor

Lord Carmichael as Governor of Victoria

Carmichael was appointed Governor of Victoria in 1908 and served from 27 July 1908 to 19 May 1911.[8]

As Governor, Carmichael permitted Victoria Premier Sir Thomas Bent who had lost a no-confidence vote on 3 December 1908 to dissolve the assembly and call for fresh elections. Thomas Bent, however, lost the elections and John Murray succeeded him as premier. A Royal Commission investigation was started in 1909 to inquire into the financial misappropriations made by Bent.

In 1911 Carmichael was appointed Governor of Madras and served from 3 November 1911 to 30 March 1912.


He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1908, a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1911 and a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India in 1917.[1] In 1912 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Carmichael, of Skirling in the County of Peebles.[9]

Other public appointments

Carmichael was also Chairman of the Scottish Board of Lunacy from 1894 to 1897, a Trustee of the Board of Manufactures in Scotland from 1900,[10] a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery from 1904 to 1908 and of the National Gallery from 1906 to 1908 and again from 1923 to 1926. Between 1920 and 1926 he served as Lord Lieutenant of Peeblesshire.[11]

In 1891 he founded the Scottish Beekeepers Association.[12]


He was a freemason. He was initiated, passed and raised within eight days of 1895 in the Dramatic and Arts Lodge No. 757. He became Worshipful Master of the Lodge in 1902 and served for two years. He was also appointed Senior Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Seven years later he became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. When he was appointed Governor of Victoria, he resigned from Grand Master only to become almost immediately Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Victoria.[13]

Personal life

Lord Carmichael married the Hon. Mary Helen Elizabeth, daughter of Baron Albert Nugent, in 1886. They had no children. He died at 13 Portman Street, London, in January 1926, aged 66, and was buried at Skirling Biggar, Lanarkshire. The barony became extinct on his death while he was succeeded in the baronetcy by his cousin, Henry Thomas Gibson-Craig.[1]



Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Ewart Gladstone
Member of Parliament for Midlothian
Succeeded by
The Master of Elibank
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Reginald Talbot
Governor of Victoria
Succeeded by
Sir John Fuller, Bt
Preceded by
Hon. Sir Arthur Lawley
Governor of Madras
Succeeded by
Sir Murray Hammick (acting)
Preceded by
Sir William Duke
Governor of Bengal
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Zetland
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Lord Glenconner
Lord Lieutenant of Peeblesshire
Succeeded by
Sir Michael Thorburn
Masonic offices
Preceded by
Hon. Charles Ramsay
Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Tullibardine
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Carmichael
Baronetage of Nova Scotia
Preceded by
William Henry Gibson-Carmichael
(of Keirhill)
Succeeded by
Henry Gibson-Craig-Carmichael
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